BESE's Responsibility

Louisiana’s State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education provides leadership and creates policies for education that expand opportunities for children, empower families and communities, and advance Louisiana in an increasingly competitive global market.


The Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) was established by the Louisiana Constitution with the responsibility for governing all Louisiana public schools within the following categories:

  • Public elementary schools
  • Public secondary schools (middle and high schools)
  • Educational units in the state’s correctional institutions and mental facilities (Special School District)


Board Powers and Duties

The powers and duties of the Board are outlined and defined in Louisiana law, which broadly includes some of the following:

    • Adopt a Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) formula for the equitable allocation of MFP funds to parish and city school systems and present to the Louisiana Legislature for approval;
    • Enact policies and adop regulations governing the state-wide operations of public and private elementary/secondary schools and entities in Special School Districts 1 and 2;
    • Direct all planning functions for the Department of Education, including collection, analysis and interpretation of all data, information, test results, evaluations, and other indicators that are used to formulate policy, identify areas of concern and need, and serve as the basis for short-range and long-range planning;
    • Exercise oversight over functions of Special School Districts 1 and 2, including budget and program operations;
    • Provide for the development and implementation of a school and district accountability system;
    • Administer 8(g) Education Quality Trust Fund programs and serving as their fiscal/program-control agent;
    • Exercise budgetary and fiscal control over state and federal funds for educational programs and services at elementary and secondary schools;
    • Prescribe the qualifications and provide for the certification of teachers, principals and superintendents, as well as other school personnel under the authority of R.S. 17:7(6);
    • Establish the qualifications and requirements for certification of any applicant for certification who completes an approved teacher education program in Louisiana;
    • Establish Guidelines for alternative educational programs of instruction for at-risk public middle and high school students in grades six through twelve;
    • Serve as the authorizer of Louisiana Types 2, 4 and 5 charter schools;
    • Define by Rule "financially at risk" as a status of any city, parish, or other local public school board;
    • Adopt standards and guidelines for the approval of nonpublic schools; and
    • Establish a procedure and criteria for appeals regarding certification issuance, reinstatement or sanction for educators deemed ineligible per Louisiana law.

      The Board has other more specifically defined duties assigned to it by law and effected in BESE policy. These include: 

      • Approve certification requirements for school personnel, including National Teacher Examination scores for classroom teachers and school administrators;
      • Adopt policies for the assessment and evaluation of teachers/administrators;
      • Approve university and alternate teacher education programs from which graduates will be certified educators;
      • Revoke, issue, reinstate or sanction educator certification for educators deemed ineligible per Louisiana law;
      • Approval of alternative education programs and schools;
      • Initial approval of Nonpublic Schools and periodic review regarding maintaining the requirements of a sustained curriculum;
      • Adopt policies for the assessment of student performance and for the remediation of students performing below standard;
      • Transfer failing or academically unacceptable schools, as outlined in statute, to and from the Recovery School District;
      • Award diplomas and certificates for successful completion of programs of study;
      • Coordinate the educational programs in Louisiana’s correctional institutions and mental health facilities (Special School Districts 1 and 2);
      • Administrate school food service programs in all schools;
      • Adopt operating standards for public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools;
      • Administer the 8(g) Quality Trust Fund Program; and
      • Administer the state's charter schools program.